Winter Maintenance Checklist

January 29th 2007
Winter Maintenance Checklist

Most home maintenance activities are seasonal with winter being one of the most grueling seasons for your home. During winter months, it is important to follow routine maintenance procedures, by checking your home carefully for any problems arising and taking corrective action as soon as possible.

Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • - Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during the heating season. Ventilation system, such as heat recovery ventilator, filters should be checked every two months.
  • - After consulting your hot water tank owner's manual, drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank to control sediment and maintain efficiency.
  • - Clean humidifier two or three times during the winter season.
  • - Vacuum bathroom fan grille.
  • - Vacuum fire and smoke detectors, as dust or spider webs can prevent them from functioning.
  • - Vacuum radiator grilles on back of refrigerators and freezers, and empty and clean drip trays.
  • - Check gauge on all fire extinguishers; recharge or replace if necessary.
  • - Check fire escape routes, door and window locks and hardware, and lighting around outside of house; ensure family has good security habits.
  • - Check the basement floor drain to ensure the trap contains water. Refill with water if necessary.
  • - Monitor your home for excessive moisture levels (for example, condensation on your windows, which can cause significant damage over time and pose serious health problems) and take corrective action. Refer to About Your House fact sheet Measuring Humidity in Your Home.
  • - Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair.
  • - If you have a plumbing fixture that is not used frequently, such as a laundry tub or spare bathroom sink, tub or shower stall, run some water briefly to keep water in the trap.
  • - Clean drains in dishwasher, sinks, bathtubs and shower stalls.
  • - Test plumbing shut-off valves to ensure they are working and to prevent them from seizing.
  • - Examine windows and doors for ice accumulation or cold air leaks. If found, make a note to repair or replace in the spring.
  • - Examine attic for frost accumulation. Check roof for ice dams or icicles. If there is excessive frost or staining of the underside of the roof, or ice dams on the roof surface, address attic ventilation and moisture control.
  • - Check electrical cords, plugs and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights to ensure fire safety: if worn, or plugs or cords feel warm to the touch, replace immediately.